Pakistani paper alleges UK has ‘unofficial policy’ to turn down visa applications

21 Dec 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Pakistani online newspaper claims that Britain is “pursing an unannounced policy of turning down visa applications of Pakistanis”, and as a result is becoming one of the main ‘no go’ destinations for Pakistanis.

Pakistan Today said that thousands of UK visa applications have been turned down in 2015, many of which were submitted by people who have previously visited the UK without any issues.

It sent a questionnaire to the British High Commission Islamabad asking how many UK visa applications it had received in 2015, an how many were rejected or approved. It also asked how many of those who had previously been issued with a visa had been turned down, and questioned the Commission over how much money it had earned from the rejected applications.

The questions were forwarded to the Abu Dhabi High Commission, but Pakistan Today said it failed to respond to the questions or its phone calls.
It claimed that a source from the Commission in Islamabad said that officials had been told from a “higher level” to reject as many Pakistani and Afghan visa applications as possible.

The source told the paper: “This is unfortunate but the British government has in principal decided to discourage visitors from Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Mohammad Atif made three unsuccessful UK visa applications, which he said were each turned down on different issues.

He said: “Finally, when I cleared all the objections, the visa officer rejected my application because he thought I would stay there despite the fact I had lived in the UK for two and a half months before.

“It seems that that they [are] racially discriminating against us.”

He added that he paid fees to the Commission each time, and believed that the body should have refused to take his second and third applications if it had reasons to turn down the first one.